In the last week of May 2011, the Army informed residents of the Missouri Valley that it planned on releasing an “unprecedented” quantity of floodwater from its Missouri River main-stem dams. Officials told a stunned public that high flows would emanate from the big dams within just days and would inundate vast portions of the valley from Montana through the state of Missouri. People wondered then, and still wonder now, how a flood of such size and duration could occur with the presence of six of the world’s largest storage reservoirs situated along the Missouri.
Since May, Brigadier General John McMahon (the overall commander for the Missouri River) Colonel Robert Ruch (the head of the Omaha District, which is charged with determining the reservoir release schedule for each of the upstream dams) and Jody Farhat (the reservoir operations manager in Omaha) have promoted a very specific interpretation of the flood of 2011. Continue Reading »